Trafford International Women’s Day Awards 2021 – Winners Announced!

100 Trafford women attended an online video awards ceremony, coming together to say well done and thank you, as International Women’s Day 2021 kicks off in Trafford, recognising and celebrating local women who have made a difference and gone above and beyond over the last 12 months.


Cllr Joanne Harding supports women from across Trafford, and was hoping to have an in-person event in 2020 before the pandemic put a stop to this.  However, she wanted to say thank you for International Women’s Day 2021 and so asked for nominations. Over 100 women from right across Trafford were nominated, from a wide variety of industries and organisations.


To open the online event Cllr Harding spoke about how generally women can sometimes suffer from Imposter Syndrome, that “they’re not worthy” or may not “believe that they can achieve things”.  How, in many instances over the last year a large majority of the caring work, home schooling and looking after the home has become additional tasks for women as well as employment and work. Cllr Harding advised that women need to “reflect on the things that you have achieved” – which I think everyone needs to do. Don’t think of all the things you haven’t done, recognise all the great work that you have achieved.


Kate Green (MP for Urmston and Stretford) was present as special guest and presenter. She spoke about how she never thought she would build a career around politics, that “people like me don’t do something like that.”  However, as Kate Green then went on to discuss, if you have a dream or a cause that you’re passionate about, why not give it a go? You might enjoy it, you might be really good at it and you might make a difference!


Choose To Challenge

The theme for the next year is ‘Choose To Challenge’ – supporting each other as women to help even up all areas of society, help each other and to feel confident to challenge things around you if you feel it is needed and appropriate. Kate Green MP encouraged the group, saying if you see someone holding herself back with feelings of ‘I can’t do that’, ASK her to do it. Encourage and build her up. As women, don’t risk regretting not trying something new.


For each category, there were 3 overall winners, and Cllr Harding shared some of the inspiring words that had been used in the nominations to describe the work and impact the nominees had made. Some fantastic words and affects!

The 3 winners per category are –

Faith in the Community

  • Christine Aspinall, St John’s Centre in Old Trafford
  • Fiona Jenkinson, St Michael’s Church, Flixton
  • Joy Layer, St John Henry Parish Church

Kate Green explained how these 3 women had adapted their services and offering to support their communities in a variety of ways. From being a community hub, offering support, to holding live online services and prayers.


Frontline Key Workers

  • Natanya O’Hara, Bollin Primary School.  Natanya was nominated for not only her role, but for going above and beyond, always being positive encouraging and supporting  pupils, staff and parents in an ever-changing situation – making sure they all feel connected and has been inspirational.
  • Jennie Holden, Woodheys Primary School.  Jennie has supported vulnerable children and families throughout the pandemic, supported with SEN and helped implement mental health and wellbeing initiatives, and co-ordinated food parcels for those in most need.
  • Emma Tryer, St Matthews School. As well as being a teacher, she became Deputy Head Teacher over the last year as well and helped to set up mental health and wellbeing sessions.


Health and Social Care

  • Claire Entwistle, who is Matron of a busy hospital ward, and always puts her patients and relatives first.
  • Katrina Jenkins, who only qualified as a nurse in 2019. Straight away last year she volunteered to work in the ICU Department at Salford Royal to support hose in most need.
  • Suzy Higham, who works in the Community Rehabilitation Team in Altrincham.  Suzy was described as always being bright and bubbly, as well as supportive to the team and patients in their own homes.

Young Woman, aged 16-25 years

This was presented by Jennifer Williams, journalist at the Manchester Evening News. Jennifer explained how tough it was to get a start in her career, and that it was a female that gave her the first opportunity, in what was a male-dominated industry. But, that she feels as a woman she can be more open and look at things from a different perspective.

  • Savannah Dallas, is a young midwife who has always been dedicated and committed to her job – staying late, and always looking to develop herself and her career.
  • Halle Deering is a Healthcare Assistant, and was described as always having a smile on her face and bubbly.
  • Rachel Grange volunteered to become a leader at Timperley Brownies, and the group would be lost without her.  Rachel was described as always being reliable, adaptable and has really helped the brownies over the last year.


Business Leader in the Community

  • Joanne Taylor, runs a foodstall at Psrtington Market, as well as supporting her family who lost their income over the last year as a result of the pandemic. She also helps the children of Partington who are in most need, at her own expense.
  • Jackie Waghorn-Cosgrove, runs the Railway Club in Stretford which has been closed.  To keep spirits up she has organised online quizzes and bingo nights, as well as helping to deliver food to the most vulnerable around the area.
  • Janine Friston (ME!) runs Promoting Trafford, and provides extra support to share and promote local businesses. She helps lots of women in business across Trafford, never gives up doing as much as she can, sometimes at her own expense and even when her own business has been impacted by the pandemic.

Voluntary and Community

This has been an amazing sector of our community during the last 12 months, and as Kate Green mentioned; “The long list of women just shows how many great women we have here in Trafford.”

  • Lakshmi Rajagopala from Broadheath organises lots of groups and initiatives – from language classes to walking groups, permitted family get togethers, supporting lots of charities and community groups.
  • Kate Frain from Urmston Good Gym has boosted morale, helped to keep people healthy, organised family walks and supported local communities and groups.
  • Lesley Fraser from The Toy House in Urmston, has continued to support children and families. She arranged 60  hampers and toys for local families at Christmas, and is always supporting and helping the most in need across the community.

Above and Beyond

  • Jane Dennison from #MileShyClub has been helping the community become fitter and healthier with her community running groups, working with GP practices with fitness programmes for patients, as well as supporting local BAME and disabled groups to help with their fitness and overall wellbeing.
  • Joanne Walsh, has gone above and beyond supporting a friend in need over the last 18 months with their mental health, as well as working to improve awareness of mental health generally and was described as a “brilliant person.”
  • Grace Lees runs the local Solemother running club for women. She created the community so women could get fitter and healthier, but always ask for a running buddy to make sure they stayed safe. Grace has now not only built a positive local community, but has also grown the concept globally.

I hope you’ll agree that the winners above have worked hard to support and help the local community over the last 12 months, and shows how brilliant they’ve been – often at their own expense and time? Also, to all those that were nominated and shown who have also contributed and made an impact.


Cllr Jane Slater advised that we need to be mindful of our mental health and wellbeing, equality and to make sure that women have a voice.


Thank you to Cllr Harding for arranging this event to showcase the great work effort from women across Trafford for International Women’s Day, Kate Green MP and Jennifer Williams for being involved and announcing the winners as well as inspiring those on the video call.


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